The Valley’s New Southern Californian Laneway Bar Serves Banh Mi-Style Tacos And Margs

California love

By Dinushka Gunasekara | 25th May 2023

This winter is heating up with the latest spicy addition to Fortitude Valley’s vibrant bar scene – a Southern Californian bar and restaurant tucked away on California Lane fusing Peruvian and Latin flavours.

Pulling dishes from Central and South America, Viva La Cali takes cues from culturally exotic venues as well as the essence of the West Coast to whisk patrons away on a flavour-filled journey. Open-air and undercover, the intimate space hosts up to 50 guests seated, exuding a relaxed atmosphere alongside a sunset-hued palm tree mural.

Summer flavours are a constant on the short and quirky menu, featuring hand-held bites, snacks, larger share plates, and desserts. Leaning on local farmers and providores for exceptional ingredients, tacos are the major focus of Viva La Cali, from the banh mi-style taco with pulled chicken, pickled veg, and pate, to the seasonal fish ceviche with cucumber, pickled jalapeno, and pomegranate. 

As for drinks, margs are obviously on the radar as Viva’s signature offering, as well as a tequila-focused cocktail list incorporating hints of spice and coffee influences using clever culinary techniques. Making every drink from scratch, their Bugs Bunny Margarita is a must-try with housemade sour carrot juice. 

Viva La Cali is the newest venue for dynamic duo Marc Grey (Destino Sanctuary Cove) and Chef Steve Maidan (Baja and 1st Edition), and will be launching with a bang, aka their SoCal Sundays event. The ongoing bottomless margarita and taco fiesta takes place every Sunday with two seatings at 1pm and 4pm, so you can sip and feast for two hours – ending your week the right way. 

Viva La Cali opens on 3 June at California Lane, Fortitude Valley.

By Dinushka Gunasekara A self-proclaimed Spotify connoisseur who plans her weekends on Monday, Dinushka’s least favourite time of the day is in between meals.




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